release your tight grip
let go your need to control
trust and surrender
This is part of a 7-week series exploring the seven core emotional attributes that drive human interaction, as presented by the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. These attributes are collectively called Sephirot. Each individually is a sephirah.
This week we are exploring the seven aspects of the sphere of Hod.
For me, and for many people I know, Hod is one of the most difficult traits to put into practice consistently.
Hod: Gratitude and Humility
The literal translation of Hod is gratitude or praise.
More generally, Hod speaks to humility, and surrender. It is also translated as splendor, majesty, and beauty.
Another aspect of Hod relates to seeking wisdom. In the realm of Hod — and in the Hod aspect of every other sephirah — we are invited to seek wisdom or advice from others.
How do these interpretations relate?
In order to appreciate the splendor and majesty of a situation, environment, or person, we must have humility.
Humility is the attribute that helps us
surrender to the plan that is greater than our plan; to acknowledge that we are not in control.
A person who thinks they know everything doesn’t ask for support. It requires humility to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers.
The Partner to Netzach
Hod is the partner to Netzach.
While Netzach pushes through obstacles in pursuit of achieving a long-term vision, Hod appreciates the divine perfection of things as they are.
Netzach is single focused on its vision and mission. Hod opens to receive what wants to be offered.
We need both.
This is evident when we explore how the Tree of Life maps to the body. Netzach is the right hip/leg and Hod is the left hip/leg.
We can’t walk without alternating which foot leads.
The Challenge of Hod
For me, and for many of my clients, Hod is the most challenging of the Sephirot to implement consistently and practically.
My Netzach is strong — sometimes too strong. Pushing through is what I know. It’s how I — and many of us — have been conditioned. We live in a world that actively encourages Netzach: striving, driving, achieving.
Hod asks of us something that feels foreign:
Allow things to unfold and emerge.
This requires immense faith. Faith is different from trust. Trust is earned over time. Faith is given freely without logical rationale.
The opposite of faith is fear, which is the shadow of Hod.
Looking at my own life, I can see that fear is always present when I am trying to push through something even in the face of all signs asking me to surrender and give it up.
Fear of losing ground is what keeps me from resting when my body tells me it needs rest. Fear of having my beliefs changed or learning something that might shift my perspective keeps me from being present to what others have to share.
Hod asks us to do something extremely challenging — especially in today’s world:
It asks us to appreciate the majesty and beauty of everything as it is.
Even the things that feel horrifying, like war, violence, climate change, election results, and Supreme Court decisions.
Hod asks us to overcome our inherent negativity bias and have faith that everything is happening according to a divine plan that we can’t see — or control.
If you’re a Type-A, this is a challenge.
The Secret Weapon for Endurance
Counter-intuitive as it may seem, appreciating and surrendering to what is can be the secret weapon to sustaining endurance.
Embracing this mindset and heart-set empowers me to focus on my mission. In releasing resistance to what is, I free up energy to sustain my endurance to continue striving toward my mission and vision.
And yet I constantly find myself back in my old ways: berating myself for running late, being behind schedule, not having my shit together, dropping balls.
Truly embodying Hod as a proactive stance is the work of this week.
Attributes of Hod
Like the other attributes we’ve been exploring, a fully integrated Hod is comprised of all seven attributes.
Examining each facet of Hod helps us see how to use this trait in practice and invites us to consider where we might need to attune more.
We’ll explore those facets this week.